Tomato Ketchup Sauce
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Ingredients / Shopping List
500 g tomatoes 
3 red peppers 
1 onion
1 apple
100ml malt vinegar
100ml water
2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
Pinch mixed spice
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dark soft brown sugar
 
Prep Time:   0:10
Cook Time:   0:55
Makes:   8

Prep to Cook:  I pressure cooker or large saucepan with lid, vegetable knife, chopping board, teaspoon, hand-held stick blender, long handled spoon, freezer bags, lables

Prep:   This is an all-in-one cook.  

Remove stalks from tomatoes, cut in quarters and put into the pan
Peel and chop the onion into 8 pieces
Peel and de-core the apple and chop into 8 pieces
Deseed the peppers and remove the skins: grill or char and wrap in polythene
Peel off the skins and add to the pan
Add the vinegar and all the spices ( Do not add the sugar yet)
Bring to the boil and stir 
Simmer for about 40 minutes and then blend to a puree using hand-held stick blender
Taste and add sugar up to 1 tablespoon
Cool and divide into 8  pots for the freezer or refrigerator
Store for use with gratin dishes, pasta dishes or stir-fry
 
Check it out !

Ketchup has been sold for centuries to entice the consumer to eat more and enjoy  meals.  Making your own is a good way to use seasonal produce such as tomatoes from the greenhouse.  Freezing it in pouches retains the fresh flavour and colour of the sauce.

Cooks Know How:   Preserving fruits as a sauce or ketchup is a tradition of many countries round the world.  Peri-peri for example.  The process is simple, to render the fruits soft by breaking down their cellular structure.  Boiling and simmering is the best method although you could experiment using the microwave if you have a suitable cooking dish.  The heat will destroy microbes and enzymes to preserve the cooked sauce.  During  the cooking the flavours and colours from all the ingredients merge to create a piquant, smooth condiment.  Vinegar is added as an acid that helps to reduce the pH and preserve the sauce, salt is also used to make conditions unsuitable for microbial growth.  Sugar is added in a small amount for flavour rather than any preservative effect. If the sauce is bottled the sterilisation of the bottles is imperative, as yeasts could cause the bottles to explode during storage. To be on the safe side I would suggest freezing is the best method of storage.  The Ketchup sauce is strong and tasty and can be used to enhance other sauces such as Bolognaise, stews, curries, soups and simple pasta dishes. Freeze in in portioned blocks for ease of use.

Next Time

Try using excess squashes to make ketchup.  Design your own sauce remembering the main rules that it must be processed by boiling and simmering, it must contain some vinegar and should have spice and salt.  

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